SumUp Card Reader Review for Small Business Owners

SumUp is a UK POS (point of sale) and mobile payments service supplier, providing mobile solutions for local businesses at attractive prices. In the UK, its card payment fees are so low that when SumUp emerged on the market in 2011, it pushed major competitors such as Zettle and Square to cut their UK payment fees to keep them competitive.

sumup review


But even if you don’t sign a contract with SumUp, you must be aware of the fact that the company has dropped the cost of card transaction fees for small businesses.


SumUp is one of the best mobile card readers in the market, perhaps the closest thing to rival Zettle’s outstanding mobile card reader.


Nevertheless, a mobile card reader is more than just the device itself, and we also have to see what support services SumUp has to offer to help you decide if it’s the right company for your business.


You can find endless SumUp reviews on the web, but if you’re searching for the real deal, keep reading this detailed article to figure out what’s best for you.


How Does SumUp’s Air Card Reader Work?


SumUp Card Reader Review 


To obtain your SumUp Air mobile card reader, you first need to register on the website and validate your company. It’s simple to do this: all you have to do is fill in some essential details about you and your company.


SumUp will carry out a verification of your company data before validating your account, a standard procedure for such payment providers. There should be no problems approving your account, as long as your company is not categorized as restricted and your bank details are the same as those used for your company’s revenue.


While you wait for your approval, you can request your card reader, and you will receive it within a few working days. Your business should be verified by the time your card reader arrives. The entire process should take no more than a week.


You can download the free SumUp app for iOS and Android while waiting for your card terminal to come in, and we will explain more about the app later in this SumUp review.


Once your card reader is ready, you can immediately start using it. Simply turn on your device, enable Bluetooth on your phone, and click through to the Payment Methods screen in the app, from where you can configure your card machine.


As soon as your card reader is synchronized with your mobile phone, it will automatically turn on when in range of your mobile device, and you click on the card payment at the checkout. All you have to do is make sure your card reader is fully charged when you want to use it, and SumUp’s auto-integration works smoothly.


To collect payments, you can either choose from your stock list (if you have created an inventory) or you can manually enter a total transaction amount. If you enter the amounts yourself, you also get the choice to type in a payment description to facilitate your bookkeeping.


Once you are all set to receive the card payment, select the payment section and click on the “Upload” button. Here, you can either agree to accept payment by cash (you must first enable it in your SumUp account) or accept payment by card and the data will be forwarded to your card machine, assuming it is within range.


At this point, your clients can either pay by Chip & Pin, contactless, or mobile phone, and you can expect the money to be in your bank account within a few working days. SumUp takes a bit longer than Zettle and Square to transfer the funds into your account, which is one of the potential downsides of this service.


Additionally, you can choose to be funded on a weekly or monthly basis by configuring a calendar in your SumUp user account.


What Kind Of Business Should Use SumUp?


In this SumUp card machine review, we will also talk about the types of businesses that should use SumUp card readers as an efficient payment method for potential company growth. When choosing the right card terminal for your company, you need to make sure that the company is providing you and your clients with what you exactly need. However, you can’t decide which one is the best for you before learning all the aspects of this card machine company.


SumUp is the best for the following types of businesses: 


  • New businesses that still don’t have defined target earnings
  • Small businesses with less than £1,500 monthly card payments
  • Businesses that accept card payments occasionally
  • Food and drink providers
  • Hospitality
  • Retail
  • Mobile professional services (cleaners, plumbers, electricians, roofers, etc.)


SumUp has the lowest card transaction fees of 1.69%. It is the lowest of its competing mobile payment service providers, as Zettle and Square reach 1.75%, and PayPal Here is considerably pricier, unless you are handling a high volume of payments per month.


The volume is the kicker here because even with SumUp’s low transaction fees, you will still obtain cheaper fees elsewhere if you are doing a lot of card transactions every month. It is when PayPal makes itself much more competitive with its fluctuating transaction rates of 2.75% to 1.0%.


Considering this, SumUp is more tailored to smaller firms that handle a fairly low number of card payments per month.


The low transaction fees are not the only reward for using SumUp’s Air Card Reader. It is one of the handful of mobile readers that enables accepting transactions anywhere with a mobile connection. For businesses that need to accept payments from travelling clients, this can be crucial. The capacity to allow cash and card payments accepted by the app is a tremendous boon for accounting and company administration.




In this SumUp review, you will also learn about the Air Card Reader’s features that will help you with the decision about what’s the best mobile transaction provider for your company. SumUp, Square, and Zettle card readers have a lot of similar features, but we are still holding on to SumUp as our favourite mobile transaction provider.


If you decide to order your SumUp Air Mobile Card Reader, these are the benefits and features that you will get:


  • Mobile Payments: SumUp is working well with Android Pay as well as with Apple Pay
  • Payments: Swipe, chip-and-pin, and contactless payments
  • Wireless: Easy connect to Apple and Android devices via Bluetooth
  • Keypad: Your clients can type in their pin code in the physical card reader
  • Extended battery life: Unlike other card readers, this one can go for up to 500 transactions per single charge, which makes it unbeatable in the battery life category.


Another thing that makes SumUp an excellent choice for any small or new business is the broad range of cards it accepts. The company is a no-brainer for newbies in any business that has low to medium monthly revenue.


SumUp supports the following card issuers: 


  • Master Card
  • Visa
  • Visa Electron
  • Maestro
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • V Pay
  • Diners Club


It also has mobile payment support for Apple Pay and Android Pay. It’s only slightly better card support than Square’s offering, but not as good as Zettle’s, while both Square and Zettle also offer support for Samsung Pay, something SumUp currently doesn’t offer.


Like with the Zettle card reader, you get a physical keypad on the SumUp reader to allow clients to enter their PIN on the device as well. Square doesn’t have a keypad on the reader, which means customers will have to enter their pin into their phone or tablet.


The other crucial difference is that SumUp and Zettle have a magnetic stripe reader into their mobile card readers, whereas Square provides a separate reader that has to be connected to the mobile device, which can be a bit disturbing.


This SumUp review will not be complete without a word or two about the app. Unlike Square and Zettle, SumUp’s app is more basic. In other words, the app doesn’t come with all the great features as the card reader, and it has POS as a separate paid service. Square’s and Zettle’s apps offer comprehensive POS service, which means they are slightly easier to use.


Here are the things you can do with SumUp’s app:


  • Account activation
  • Managing your products
  • Creating staff accounts
  • Creating custom shelves
  • Sending a receipt via text message or email address
  • Resending receipts
  • View sales history
  • Custom tax rates


If looking for advanced features, you have to consider SumUp’s POS option or get a different provider. The thing is that Square and Zettle offer all the advanced features on their free apps.


Pros and Cons


Every review, including our SumUp card reader review, must contain a pros and cons section to help readers understand the positive and negative sides shortly.



  • SumUp card reader is an excellent choice for low volume companies that are still exploring the pulse of their clients and learning how to process their payments effectively.
  • It provides a free virtual terminal for all its users.
  • There are no monthly minimums that a company needs to process to work with SumUp.
  • Lowest rates on the market.
  • No fees for refunds or accepting payments from foreign countries.




  • One of the worst things about SumUp is that it lacks supportive software.
  • There is no in-app invoicing.
  • Limited features in the app.


SumUp Customer Service


Overall, SumUp has a very positive online reputation, however, it appears that the majority of complaints relate to the withholding of funds. Typically, some businesses experience that after being granted initial acceptance by SumUp, their funds are retained, and the company is asked to submit additional business credentials.


When analysing these complaints, it appears that these issues are related to businesses that fit into SumUp’s “restricted” category.


SumUp doesn’t have a license to support such companies, which is why it is so essential to review the terms and conditions before registering. Additionally, SumUp and other mobile payment providers should have a more demanding application procedure, but the downside is that it would make it more challenging for all companies to sign up.


Is SumUp Expensive? 


No, it is not expensive compared to other mobile payment services. SumUp charges 1,69% for every transaction. To get the card reader, you have to pay only £19 + VAT, which makes it a strong competitor against other providers. Another great thing about SumUp is that it has no hidden fees, no setup fees, no monthly fees, and no contract. The company charges clients depending on their transactions, so if your company is making less than £1500 per month, this is the right mobile transaction provider for you.


If you own a company that does not depend on card transactions only, you might consider SumUp as your card reader provider because the company will not oblige you to monthly contracts and fees. It is the best option for small businesses searching for a convenient way of charging clients who do not carry around cash.


A broad spectrum of small hostels and diners choose this method of card transactions due to the low revenue. Businesses who prefer to receive cash and rarely accept card transactions also find SumUp as a convenient method to process those payments. There is no doubt that this provider is not the top choice for large companies with high volume, but it works perfectly fine for small businesses and also new business owners.


At the end of the day, even if you do not like SumUp card reader service, you can always quit using it. You are not obliged with any contract to have to use their card machine for an undetermined period.


However, most of the SumUp reviews that you will check online will be positive and cheering for this provider because it is just the best you can do for your business if your primary charging method isn’t card processing.


Check it out and help spread the word, so other business owners can take a peek at this SumUp card reader review.

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